Time to remember

wet   Hilary Waddington lays a wreath on behalf of Soroptimist International of Harrogate and District at the Remembrance Service in Wetherby.  (111113M1o)
wet Hilary Waddington lays a wreath on behalf of Soroptimist International of Harrogate and District at the Remembrance Service in Wetherby. (111113M1o)

Have you missed me? It’s a few weeks since I last took to the hallowed pages of the Wetherby News to update you on what I’ve been doing.

It was getting later and later each week when I was finding time to sit down and write my column and frequently, the email with the text attached was being delivered well into the small hours of the morning.

I love all the things I do and the many hats I wear but something had to give and so for the final six months of my time as Mayor, I will be writing a monthly column instead of a weekly one.

To my mind, this week is the most important of the year for the role of Mayor and without question, Remembrance Sunday is the most significant event.

There can’t be many reading this who don’t have a friend or relative that’s served in the armed forces or done so themselves.

Those brave men and women that were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms we so often take for granted and the innocent people they protect all over the world deserve never, ever to be forgotten.

When I stand on Bridge foot on Sunday in the shadow of the war memorial, I’ll be thinking of my Grandad and the friends I have who are serving right now.

The Royal British Legion in Wetherby do a wonderful job of organising the commemorations each year and I have no doubt that I will once again be bursting with pride at the number Wetherby people that will come out to pay their respects.

It really is the least we can do. I am also incredibly proud that Wetherby is now a hero’s welcome town.

A number of shops and businesses have already signed up to support the scheme and offer discounts to members of the armed forces.

If you would like your business to be part of the scheme it is really easy to sign up, just pop into the Town Hall and the staff there will give you everything you need.

I will be visiting businesses over the coming weeks and months to encourage them to sign up as well.

Later this month, every house in Wetherby will have a survey posted through their letterbox as we seek your views about the future of the town in the latest phase of our neighbourhood plan.

I have been meeting with a fantastic group of volunteers every other week for most of this year to do the background work of the plan and now we need to know what you think.

We need as many people to respond as possible, young and old from all parts of the community.

It will be your ideas that form the backbone of a plan that will shape how Wetherby develops over the next 15 to 20 years.

You will be able to complete the survey on-line or just fill it in and drop it into a number of locations around the town.

It will take about 20 minutes and the consultation period will be open for about six weeks.

If you’re able to help us deliver the surveys or would like to get more involved in the plan, please leave your details at the Town Hall and I will get in touch.

Saturday night was one of the highlights of my year so far.

No, I didn’t go to the Gareth Gates concert but I did get to light the community bonfire at The Ings.

In previous years, the vile weather would have probably seen the event cancelled but during the year we managed to get some drainage into the ground and a small roadway constructed that means the event can go ahead whatever the weather and we certainly put that to the test this year.

I have to confess, that being given permission to set fire to a huge pile of wood was rather exciting and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it far more than I should have.

The fire took a bit of lighting as it had been battered by rain all day but ably assisted by the fantastic John Tatterton, Coun Galan Moss and representatives of Crossley Street and Deighton Gates primary schools who provided the guys to briefly adorn the top of the bonfire, we eventually managed to produce a suitable inferno.

The heavens opened just after it had properly taken hold and provided a rather damp back drop to the excellent fireworks display.

The crowd was pretty impressive considering the weather. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to organise the event.

Christmas invites are coming in thick and fast, I’ll be writing much more about that next month.

I’ll also be able to update you on the latest brown sign developments, hopefully be able to bring you some good news about car parking and possibly be able to reveal a large project that I have been working on for the past two years.

In the meantime, if you see me out and about, come and say hello.